The Eerie Silence Surrounding the Assange Case has been broken…in Australia

First, from Mike Head at wsws.org June 12, 2018: ‘Demands grow that Australian government act to free Julian Assange’

Head writes that last Sunday one of Assange’s attorneys, Australian Jennifer Robinson, was on channel 7’s ‘Sunrise Weekend’ giving a 10-minute interview.  He called it a significant break from the long media silence in Australian media on Assange’s seven year detention in the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Robbins had apparently issued a clear message to the Aussie government to  carry out its responsibility to an Aussie citizen and give him his freedom.

I’d tried, but failed, to find the interview both on youtube and on Channel 7’s site.  He writes that her challenge came as an international movement to fight for the freedom of the courageous journalist who has done more for transparency regarding war crimes, mass surveillance, and regime change operations around the world.  Now I’ll offer here that at their site, you’re able to see in the middle column just how hard the world wide socialists have been working to build that global movement.  Back to Mike Head:

“One of the central demands of this campaign is that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government act immediately to secure Assange’s freedom and his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US request for his extradition on conspiracy and espionage charges. These charges can carry the death penalty.

Robinson’s interview came three days after she accompanied two Australian consular officials to meet with Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum on June 19, 2012. The visit was the first made by Australian officials to the Australian citizen in the six years since he has been effectively imprisoned inside the embassy, denied the right to obtain medical treatment or sunlight and outdoor physical exercise.

In her “Sunrise” interview, Robinson posed the pressing question: “What diplomatic representation is the Australian government willing to provide to protect Julian Assange from the risk of US extradition?”

Robinson pointed out that the Trump administration had taken “a far more public and aggressive stance” against WikiLeaks and Assange than even the Obama administration, under which a Grand Jury indictment was made for Assange’s arrest.

Since Trump’s election, Robinson explained, key members of his administration had called for WikiLeaks to be “taken down,” and for ways to be found to prosecute Assange, regardless of the US Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing free speech.

“When will the Australian government, which is uniquely placed to provide a resolution to this case, step forward to provide assistance?” she asked.

Robinson said Assange was willing to “face British justice, but not the risk of US injustice.” He is prepared to face court for breaching his British bail conditions when Ecuador granted him political asylum, but must have a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Such a guarantee was “standard procedure,” Robinson said. “If the Australian government would come to the fore, the case could be resolved quickly.”

As Robinson emphasised, both US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, had made clear their intent to imprison Assange and shut down WikiLeaks, which Pompeo last year described as a “hostile non-state intelligence service.”

He goes on to say that threats against Assange escalated after the organization has released CIA Vault 7 documents which demonstrated massive capabilities to hack, covertly [and extraordinarily illegally and unconstitutionally, of course], surveil, and conduct cyber-warfare against US and planetary citizens.

“As the WSWS reported at the time, the documents indicate that the CIA has developed “more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other ‘weaponized’ malware” allowing it to seize control of devices, including Apple iPhones, Google’s Android operating system and devices running Microsoft Windows. By hacking these devices, the CIA can also intercept information before it is encrypted on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo, Confide and Cloackman.”

He then reminds readers that Assange was further silenced on March 28, being allowed no communication with the world outside his virtual prisoners, no visitors save for legal counsel, and then steers us to an op-ed at New Matilda by human rights activist and attorney Kellie Trantor, which I did find: ‘Pressure Builds On Australian Government To Act On Assange Stalemate’, Kellie Tranter, June 12, newmatilda.com

Head brings the pithiest parts:

“She detailed documents, obtained by freedom of information requests, showing that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had refused to “seek to ‘resolve’ Mr Assange’s case.” Bishop’s refusal followed the February 2016 findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that Assange was being arbitrarily detained by Britain and Sweden in violation of international human rights law.

On February 12, 2016 Bishop, a former lawyer, signed a Ministerial Submission stating “we are unable to intervene in the due process of another country’s court proceedings or legal matters, and we have full confidence in the UK and Swedish judicial system.”

Tranter disclosed two further statements from Bishop’s department, on June 7 and 8 this year, adhering to the refusal to act on the WGAD verdict, even though in May 2017 Sweden finally dropped its trumped-up “investigation” into the sexual assault allegations against Assange. Among the exposures made of the politically motivated and dubious character of these allegations was a detailed examination undertaken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Four Corners” program on July 23, 2012 (see: “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange”). [<if you click the arrow under the video you can read the transcript.]

…and that given Sweden’s having dropped all charges against Assange, he’d be glad to answer the remaining, relatively minor, bail-jumping charges while in Australia. He adds:

“As a legal analysis published yesterday by the WSWS explained, both international and Australian law establishes that the Australian government clearly has the “discretion”—that is, the power—to take action against the United Kingdom in order to protect Assange, including, potentially, legal action in the British courts.”

and

“On May 28, the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International called for international action to defend Assange  and endorsed the vigil being prepared by WikiLeaks’ supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19, and other vigils being organised around the globe.

In the same statement, the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), with the support of journalist and film-maker John Pilger, announced a demonstration to be held at Sydney Town Hall Square on Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m. The rally will demand that the Turnbull government honour its responsibilities to Assange and intervene to secure his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US extradition request.”

From his hyperlink to 5/282018 above:

We urge all defenders of WikiLeaks and of democratic rights to circulate information about the June 17 demonstration as widely as possible. Organisations that endorse and intend to participate in the demonstration should inform the SEP (Australia) at sep@sep.org.au. Endorsements will be published on the WSWS beginning tomorrow.”

I did manage to up solidarity vigils scheduled so far…around the globe here at classconscious.org; there may be other sites, but on these Twitter hashtags scheduled events in some locales are featured: #FreeAssange! and #Unity4Assange.

Now the title of this diary comes from  ‘The Eerie Silence Surrounding the Assange Case’, June 9, 2018, consortiumnews.org, Dennis Berstein interviews John Pilger

By way of a teaser; Bernstein opens with:

“In a recent communication between Randy Credico, an Assange supporter, comic and radio producer, and Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, Assange’s fear of arrest and extradition to the US was confirmed by the leader of the Russia-gate frenzy.

Credico received the following response from Schiff after meeting the Congressman’s staff, in which Credico was trying to connect Assange with Schiff: “Our committee would be willing to interview Assange when he is in U.S. Custody and not before.”

Dennis Bernstein spoke with John Pilger, a close friend and supporter of Assange on May 29. The interview began with the statement Bernstein delivered for Pilger at the Left Forum last weekend in New York on a panel devoted to Assange entitled, “Russia-gate and WikiLeaks”.

 

But jeezum crow; I just found the Robinson interview on…WikiLeaks’ Twitter account. I’ll embed it in comments.


(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

13 responses to “The Eerie Silence Surrounding the Assange Case has been broken…in Australia

  1. the jennifer robinson interview:

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_witnesses

    it is kind of hard to grasp how quickly these assholes in big media tossed Assange under the bus. there is already an iron curtain over information people can receive b/c Big Brother snaps his fingers & the English press from New Zealand to New York start marching in lockstep and to an extent the press in other countries as well. intro new search algorithms, get rid of net neutrality and voila, we may not even hear about the next Assange b/c he’ll already have been digitally disappeared.

    be safe Wendy!

    • thick-wit here; run down the metaphor for me, please?

      but i suppose we should be amazed by the epic zeal to disappear him, but having covered soooo many of the hits on him here…i guess i’m jaded by now. the cnn one (wasn’t it?) was a bit of an aberration, and i still haven’t figured out their actual motives.sorry, i am so knackered after a tiring day, and kinda depressed by smoke and fire reminding me of when we’d been evacuated however many years ago. we’re safe enough from these fires, but some evacuees from the durango area are even here in our town, not many motels, though. three wee ones?

      • sorry ugh. been busy and at the moment not feeling tip top ship shape.

        I just think it’s interesting that in the vision of the end of the age seen by the blind, boiled seer of Patmos, there will be testimony, evidence, voices, witnesses, against or illuminating the BS going on. all the earth-shaking & thunder-rattling and all that is a metaphor for the power of the light of truth. being killed & dragged thru streets and all that might refer to defamation, slander, not simply the beast’s (the evil empire’s) run of the mill death & dismemberment plan reserved for us usual suspects. Maybe. the number two I take to mean simply “sufficient:” out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, etc. there will be enough people, “witnesses,” in the “public square” that people won’t have an excuse for swallowing the lies of imperialism. Some of these witnesses the principalities & powers & rulers of the wickedness of this present darkness (h/t Paul) will very publicly try to “kill & drag thru the streets.” for all who are watching to see.

        clearly I pick & choose what to take more literally & what to take more metaphorically, allegorically, well, about everything I read, but certainly the KJV of Revelation that I read so many times as a kid. I read it, now, with a very anti-imperialist, anti-war set of lenses. all the chimaeric animals that appear, incl the last one, “the beast from the sea,” are symbols of empires & imperialism. they are inhuman. “the whore of Babylon” is religion in the service of imperialism, etc., etc.

        any questions?

        “the spider is in even king’s palaces.” Proverbs ??:?? there are bugs even in the oval office. bearing witness. lol.

        • lol, thanks for the explanation; given it, it sounds like a perfect allegory for the bringer of light and truth: julian assange. your image of dragging him thru the streets is remarkably apt, as well. wsws has a bit of coverage from sydney, thankfully. as i was in the twitterverse trying to make any discoveries, the related hashtags were goin’ bonkers with close to: danger danger, retweet massively…but w/ no content.
          http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/18/asvd-j18.html
          i did manage to find john pilger on the steps, though; dunno if it’s in the wsws video. and the global vigils are pretty much scheduled for the 19, tomorrow, i guess, but what with time zones and all…

          and a new op-ed by pilger published at…the new mathilda.
          https://newmatilda.com/2018/06/18/bringing-julian-assange-home-john-pilger/

          i’m so sorry to hear you’re feelin’ poorly; wish there were some way to help. bad food? well, shoot, livin’ as you are it could be any number of things, even weariness and depleted energy from constant fear and outrage, i reckon. i know all of us are sending you love, prayers, and good vibrations.

  3. i’m out for the night. let this be our lullaby from the late, great john trudell. last thing he ever recorded before ‘his ride came for him’, as he’d said.

  4. I’ll take a stab at your query, wendye, and suppose that j in oly is paying you the compliment of being the second witness, though I disagree with most of wiki’s commented interpretations as I don’t think the consideration of Saint John’s writing in and on Patmos should be considered prophecy, except in the broadest sense. I think that he, having been exiled not killed in the persecutions that arose following Christ’s crucifixion, (and that’s an interesting question in itself) getting news of that conflagration wrote his fiery poem in direct response to that destruction of the leaders of his church, and then if you agree with that interpretation, he is showing the underlying spiritual warfare accompanying that enormous event in his lifetime, and the two witnesses are Saint Peter and Saint Paul, called in church history ‘the pillars of the church’.

    And indeed, a similar heroic figure for us is Julian Assange. I did go looking for another, (even though I think j in oly has a sound point) and spent my morning reading and thinking about an article at counterpunch on Robert F. Kennedy, but the article was halfhearted at best, didn’t even mention his great speech about what constitutes value in national terms.

    Then, this evening I came upon an article by his son, Robert f. Kennedy Jr. that moved me to think he quietly might qualify, in his original work on cleaning up rivers (specifically the Hudson) but then too his questioning of the elimination of oversight represented by the non-regulation of vaccines.

    This is an article from last Tuesday at commondreams.org, so you need to scroll into the “more” at the bottom of the righthand side column there. It is titled “Vaccines and the Liberal Mind.” And really I think that while not on our front burner as it were, this is one of the most important ‘calling outs’ I’ve read in some time. I wish it had had a more prominent viewing, and I don’t know what the answer can be for today’s parents, but it is truly horrifying that with some 50 vaccines now being mandated there is so little testing required and so much money being made.

    It’s a really good article.

    • many thanks for all of this, juliania, although i’d thought he was referencing a wider allegory than me as a witness. i’ll read anew soon as i can, and hunt down the rfk, jr piece at common dreams. while still trying to answer comments at c99 on a couple threads, i’d hastily thrown together a new copy/past diary: bernhard at moa was right.

      and i know i owe you and others emails but the time just goes me in a veritable flash. love ya, ww.

      on morning edit: here it is, juliania. ‘Vaccines and the Liberal Mind’; Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, too many online outlets are silencing critics and shutting down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

      he makes some great points about the lack of oversight, and brings a lot of related facts to bear, although numbers don’t always add up to causality. he lost me on ‘the liberal mind’, though, even as he’d made an attempt to justify its use. but is there a chance i could teach you how to bring and url (web address) so i don’t find myself spending so much time hunting something down? admittedly, i hadn’t followed your directions well, so i spent a stupid amount of time trying to search the site from its own flawed search engine. ‘scroll down to more’, ha, was a purdy big thing to miss. i’ll plea: tired at the end of a long and not much fun very smoky day.

      on second morning edit: you’ll like seeing this if you hadn’t already.

      • I’m sorry – this new version of computing has me befuddled as I was so used to a mac. I will learn, or else at least try not bring references that are difficult to follow up on. With regard to ‘liberal mind’ I think Kennedy was taking to task the d party spokespersons who are ignoring the issue.

        Thanks on the Nicky Hager bit – can you imagine a police search lasting 13 hours? I’m disappointed in thedailyblog though. All the host could do was spit venom, when obviously yes he’d been targeted as well, but for outsiders his dialectic is increasingly hard to follow.(But then, I had to give up on the Tristram Shandy as well. His first chapters were very good, but I lost him when he started in on a long epic about noses – I’m sure to 18th century readers it was all very sexy and funny but as it went on and on I finally gave up, returned the volume to the freebie spot.)

        No worries on emails – what you do here is more than enough!

        • I should have suggested duckduckgo-ing the title of the piece and author – actually I got to it just now using only the title. Sorry.

        • noses??? lol. yeah, what a drag for nicky. is your new laptop windows then? i hope not touch screen; do you know what operating system? i just did a brief search for copy/paste instructions, but duh…of course you need to know that. i allus have a word document open to grab links, and often have several tabs open but minimized at the bottom when i create diaries.

          the one i’m working on has been a major stinker as i can’t cross-post tweets to c99% without asking the site owner, and they come out huuuuge over there. ish. it’s an alternative poor peoples campaign led by…the poor and homeless. a smallish but doughty group, many in wheelchairs.

          well i wonder why rfk, jr. believes the Ds wouldn’t ignore it all. guess he hasn’t twigged to D wall street, warmongers, etc. poor fellah. but the sheer number of childhood jabs is gruesome. some on his list may be the bill gates experimental kind, too, but that they’re in the ‘biologic’ category not ‘drug’ is sooo convenient. poisons in our foods are sorta categorized weirdly as well, but i’ve forgotten the differentiations.

          thanks for being so easy about emails, i just start feeling so guilty about all the unanswered ones, and i don’t know how to type and they take so long to answer.

          the remnants of hurricane ben out of the baja are supposed to come our way, maybe your way and bring some blessed rain…and lightning, but wouldn’t an inch or so of rain feel like heaven?

  5. this could go on either of the last two threads, but: another magnificent truth-teller they’d tried to silence. from his bio tab at johntrudell.com, santee sioux leader of AIM for many years, occupier of alcatraz, at wounded knee in ’73 (?) a bit:
    https://www.johntrudell.com/biography/

    ““On February 11, 1979 Trudell had burned an American flag during a demonstration in front of the J.Edgar Hoover building, the headquarters of the F.B.I. In Washington, DC, Trudell explained his motives for the flag-burning. “In the military, they said if the flag has been desecrated, the only way to properly dispose of it is to burn it. But they defined desecration of the flag as if it drops on the earth. I say injustice and racism and classism and your whole way of life desecrates whatever you say this thing’s supposed to mean.”

    About 12 hours after the flag incident, in the early morning of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, a fire “of suspicious origin” burned down Trudell’s home on the Shoshone Palute reservation in Nevada, killing Trudell’s wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother. Not surprisingly, the F.B.I. declined to investigate, and the blaze was officially ruled an “accident.” But Trudell flatly stated “It was murder; they were murdered as an act of war.”

    he eventually went on to turn that horrific poison into sublime medicine and more truth-telling. tonight’s lullaby: ‘rich man’s war’.

  6. this is courtesy of travellerxxx over yonder at c99, aussie justice warrior for assange caitlin johnston’s ‘Why Bringing Assange Home Would Be The Best Possible Thing For Australia’. she turns ‘save assange’ on its head, of course, in the title, and while i’ve not been much of a fan of hers, i kiss her for this and might even use the dreaded ‘must read’ designation.

    she tells the story of australia’s beginnings as a crown convict colony, the genocide of most of the aboriginals, my paraphrasing: the slow of the rest, and the short history of gough whitlam’s decolonization (the creation of an actual democracy) in the mid seventies. he paid for his crimes by way of a cia/mi6 coup in the end. but she notes that in those heady times she and julian were chirren, and both must have been intoxicated by the rebellion against the crown.

    it really is a splendid piece, and i wish the new matilda would publish it. i reckon it’s on the #unity4assange twit account, so at least it will get read among the solidarity vigilists, but O, that it might be seen far more widely. the undercurrent (not spolier, methinks) is ‘australia could discover anew what it is, other than a US puppet w/ a crap gummint.
    View story at Medium.com

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